[RPG] Drowning in Dirt / Grapple + Burrow Speed


The Giant Badger has a burrow speed of 10'. Since your movement speed while dragging an enemy is halved, this means you can put your enemy 5' underground without using an action.

This addresses what happens in 3.5e, but I don't have a 5e PHB in front of me at the moment. I can imagine two situations – the burrowing rules have changes and a badger leaves a tunnel, or they haven't.

If there is a tunnel, the target can crawl through it and return to the surface (although probably prone – a definite advantage over other grapplers, who spend either a small a attack or bonus action w/ shield master to prone)

If not, the target will be left underground, and begin suffocating unless it can dig through the dirt fast enough. (Are there rules for this in 5e?)

What happens in 5th edition.

Best Answer

If you are using the variant encumbrance rules you may not have the movement you think you do. Your DM may also rule that you cannot burrow with one paw occupied with the grapple or even that you can grapple as a giant badger since you technically have no "hands".

The monster manual describes some burrowing monsters as leaving tunnels (e.g. Ankhegs), some as being able to carve out tunnels (e.g. Dragons) and some as leaving the ground undisturbed (e.g. Dao). For Giant Badgers, no information is given, so ask your GM; my personal feeling is it could do whichever it wanted - either opening up a tunnel or closing it behind it.

In a practical sense, a person buried 5 feet under the earth is going nowhere and will shortly be dead of suffocation for which there are rules in the PHB on p.183.